Inside Venice

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Come with me, away from the frantic crowds and glaring heat of St Marks Square, into the cool silky back waters of Venice. Ribbons of satin light dance to the stirring of distant oars, reflecting straight lines of buildings into artful wobbles. The light is warm and soft, soaking into ancient layers of paint, peeling languidly away from watery walls.

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Ridiculously romantic balconies hang over the winding passages of stone and water, promising whispers of love and heartache to all below. Windows which could be flung open at a moments notice to reveal ancient shadows of floating gowns and drifting hair, drip leaves and shadows across our path. Everything begs us to slow down, to soak in the colour, the sounds and the shimmering light.

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Passages twist and turn with surprising suddenness, tumbling us into arched reflections, and choices. Will we cross the steep humped back of the bridge, will we step down towards the water and a waiting boat, or will we turn the corner and follow the stone lined edge of the canal. Each choice offers exquisite beauty and yet more surprises. Each turn of a corner leads us deeper and deeper into the crumbling labyrinth which is the inner heart of Venice, slowly and seductively peeling away our sense of direction, until we are utterly and delightfully lost.

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Turning away from the curling winding canals seems to offer the promise of straight streets and logic, yet no sooner are we moving with certainty than the buildings seem to rise higher, crowding out the sky and the light on all sides. Streets end with dramatic right angles, forcing another unwanted change of direction, and Venice moves us deeper into her past. These peeling walls have echoed to the steps of thousands of years of history, and have felt the surge and fall of every human emotion. Blood has been spilled across these stones to settle lovers feuds at sword point, gold has been spilled in the heady mix of greed and desire, and poison has swirled hidden beneath plotting cloaks of power. The stories these bricks and cobbles could tell would fill a lifetime of reading.

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Mystery, intrigue and romance fill the air, seeping through our damp skin into our hearts and minds, filling our heads with questions and delighting our eyes. The watery canal suddenly seems to offer certainty, a route out to somewhere, and we cross a bridge of light over its green silk depths.

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As we follow the water it’s passage widens out, and soft fading sunlight washes the buildings, bringing brightness and space and colour. This is a nice residential area, the buildings are well kept, their layers of history held at bay beneath fresh plaster and paint. Parked at their doorsteps are clean well kept motor boats, perfect for nipping out to pick up some groceries. Flowers spill from window boxes and their sweet scent perfumes the cooling air.

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The sun sinks and night falls across the city. Old wrought iron lamps flicker into light, and Venice changes once more into her glittering shimmering evening dress. The reflections are deeper and more golden, and light falls in pools around steps and corners, while darkness swallows some streets and canals in inky silent blackness. Yet more surprises await us around each unforeseen corner.
Inside Venice is a study in mindfulness and letting go of certainty. Even with a map, instinct will serve you better as a guide than logic. You will come across so many unexpected delights that getting lost will be a pleasure. Wander freely knowing that every now and then there will be a small painted arrow, high on a corner, pointing the way back to St Marks Square.

See more posts and photos on this weeks theme of inside here.

See inside another Unesco world heritage site at Tinas post this week.

Click on any photo to see it in full resoloution, and all its glory šŸ™‚

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
This entry was posted in history, mindfulness, philosophy, photos, relaxation, travel, weekly photo challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to Inside Venice

  1. So many comments! Sorry for taking so long to respond! Your images give something a feel for what it was like to walk the streets in Venice. The words enhance what the pictures easily convey … that sense of history. That’s one thing we don’t get here in the U.S. … nothing is truly ancient … you know what I mean? We can visit sites that are 100 or even 300 years old … but nothing that approaches the grand ages of grounds that you are able to walk. All of your posts, this and the ones from home, all provide that sense of the wonder and warmth of so many timeless locations. Thanks for providing a glimpse which is, for me at least, rare. D

    • My pleasure to offer a glimpse through my eyes, of the layers of history and humanity of Europe. There is nothing new on earth in terms of people, their desires and passions and their incredible ability to shape the world.
      I always feel history pressing in through the streets and buildings, so many untold stories hidden in the stones and mortar. It’s always a delight to read your comments David, thank you for reading.

  2. wildsherkin says:

    Seonaid! What an absolutely wonderful post. I would love to visit Venice. Your pictures and description are too beautiful for words…really. I am visualising a wonderful, coffee table travel book by you. It would capture the spirit of a place – none of the usual travel speak…just your lovely words and pictures. P

    • That’s such a generous and creatively encouraging comment, thanks very much šŸ™‚
      It’s always wonderful to hear that someone really loves my style of expression. I love the idea of capturing the spirit of a place, thank you for that thought, and if you can I highly recommend a visit. I found it even more wonderful than I had dreamed it might be.

  3. wisejourney says:

    A while since I was there- thank you for walking and weaving with us around those silken waters

  4. Anna Marie says:

    I spent a day in Venice just wandering around and taking photos (I wrote a post on Venice’s allure for me) however your words and photos managed to capture the mystery of this city and reminded me of why I fell in love with Venice. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to seeing more photos.

    • I will take a look for your post, I always love to read and see others impressions of places I have been. I know exactly what you mean about falling in love with this city…..she seduces us in so many ways and in so many different lights šŸ™‚

  5. Swati Singh says:

    Such a great place to visit

  6. Mary Mageau says:

    Your visit to Venice – so beautifully photographed – so lyrically expressed.

  7. londoncab53 says:

    Lovely words and photos,so descriptive, as always! Sounds like you’re having a great summer. My has been overwhelmingly busy and so my writing has given way.I’m looking forward to autumn and a bit more time to ponder life.

    • Time to ponder is such a wonderful necessity, so I look forward to seeing what creativity comes of this pondering šŸ™‚
      My trip away was very busy, so many new things to see each day, but the photographs bring me back to still points of focus, where I can tumble into and ponder the whole experience.

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  9. fromgreentoblue says:

    Beautiful! Venice is on the top of my ‘to do list’

  10. Paula says:

    Beautifully written and captured Seonaid šŸ™‚ When did you visit?

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  12. Ishaiya says:

    Wonderful photos! I love Venice, it holds a very special place in my heart. In fact you could say I am a little infatuated. My blog is full of my Venice photos. I was there just recently, and as you say it’s an absolute delight to get lost in amongst her winding alleys. What a pleasure it is to read other people’s Venice stories too. Thank you for sharing and making my morning šŸ™‚

    • Thanks Ishaiya, and your photo look amazing too. It’s lovely to see how someone else shots a place I’ve just visited šŸ™‚

      • Ishaiya says:

        I thought that too, very different styles, and I like that. It shows that everyone really does have their own personal take when it comes to photography, it’s great that that comes across so well šŸ™‚
        Thank you for visiting my blog too!

  13. twoscamps says:

    Seonaid, I sure enjoyed getting lost in Venice with you. šŸ™‚ What a dreamy, romantic city! Someday, perhaps…

  14. mithriluna says:

    Oh my gosh, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

  15. momasteblog says:

    Oh my. . . every time you start your post with “come away with me” I know it is going to be a wonderful adventure, or just sublime fantasy. As always, thank you so much for sharing. These are places I’ve never been, and am not likely to get to in my lifetime. So, your pictures bring me someplace very special. xo.

    • I love that you enjoy my invitations to follow me into an exploration…..and I love it even more that you follow, enjoy and then let me know šŸ™‚
      I find it wonderful to see the world through others eyes, and so I try to share my take on the world for all who want to read….adding another set of eyes to the collective.

  16. colonialist says:

    Wonderfully quaint. Wish I could pay a visit.

    • You should if you can….its an incredible place. Parts of it quaint, like the shots in this post of its peeling heart, while other parts are positively stunning and grand…..more to follow šŸ™‚

  17. Hanna says:

    Beautiful post from Venice, thanks Seonid.

  18. wonderfull shots…wow, I was also there this summer -I love it! šŸ™‚

  19. Such wonderful photographs of Venice! I so want to go and now more!!

    • I had wanted to visit since I was a little girl. My Grandmother visited back in the 1920’s and she showed me beautiful black and white slides, taken by my Grandfather, of them in this beautifully romantic city. Ever since I have dreamed of visiting, and finally this year it happened, and it was even better than I had hoped šŸ™‚

  20. Amy says:

    These photos and your text tell the glorious history of Venice. Thanks for sharing!

  21. restlessjo says:

    Oh! Oh! Oh! This is so lovely it hurts, Seonaid šŸ™‚ I wanted to fall off that bridge into the reflection. Can’t wait for the next post!

    • I was really captivated by the light bouncing around this bridge. I sat patiently for 20 minutes hoping the bridge might clear of people…..however it was the afternoon of a big regatta, and the streets and bridges in this area of Academia were crowed. However I think this led me to get creative with the angle…..and the reflection was delicious šŸ™‚

  22. Lucid Gypsy says:

    So that’s where you were! It sounds like you were entranced and I look forward to seeing more šŸ™‚

    • There are lots of photos begging to be released from my card…..we started in Venice and then travelled across the waves further south and west. It’s been a wonderful watery adventure, but Venice was definitely one of the highlights for me šŸ™‚

  23. ladyfi says:

    Oh, I love Venice and you’ve outdone yourself with these shots.

  24. mightwar says:

    I was so drawn in by your words and am now intrigued enough to want to see this place for myself. A lovely post indeed.

  25. Angie says:

    Beautiful dreamy photographs!I hope to visit this place in the future. šŸ™‚

  26. An enchanting city! Beautiful photos

  27. Sharon Satterfield says:

    Beautiful!

  28. Ese' s Voice says:

    Amazing perspective on equally amazing city, Seonaid! All photos are very alive but I am absolutely fascinated by the reflections and light of the third one.

    • I know what you mean, the reflections in this one are almost better than the actual bricks and bridge. I loved the way the light seemed to bounce round corners and under bridges, and the deep green of the canal water….all very entrancing….and the angles were wonderful because of all the twists and sharp turns šŸ™‚

  29. Excellent post Seoniad – revived some happy memories of a wonderful place (although we have only ever been in the winter when the mists roll in off the lagoon, the duckboards come out and the numbers of visitors diminish)

    • That sounds as though it takes on a whole different atmosphere. I love the sound of mist rolling in off the lagoon…..must make it quite ghostly…and even more dreamlike if that’s possible. I imagine wrapping up in a big hooded coat against the biting cold and hurrying between doors.
      After 5pm even at this time of year the old city empties and the atmosphere is much more relaxed. Early morning and late afternoon were my favorite times.

  30. We were lucky enough to visit there several years ago. It is an amazing place. I absolutely love the third photo. Thank you for sharing.

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  33. nodimlight says:

    i love all of these! I am particularly fond of the shots with reflections! Your first photograph looks like there is a river within the river. Every one of them are beautifully captured!

    • Thank you, like you I love reflections but I had never photographed in such narrow spaces before. The ribbon of light where the sky gets reflected in the water really caught my eye…I like the idea of a river within a river šŸ™‚

      • nodimlight says:

        The best thing about photography for me is how we become more sensitive to the beauty of light, shadows, texture, and composition around us. It’s such a neat learning process and a blessed way to see the beauty all around us.

  34. Dennis says:

    Venice looks so interesting to me. Great images.

  35. Your Venice looks beautiful.

  36. Tina Schell says:

    Lovely post Seonaid – and of course one of my favorite places. We were there a few years back when they were suffering an incredible heat wave. Must go back for some better weather one of these days!

    • Thanks Tina, and I see you were thinking along similar lines on this weeks theme šŸ™‚
      It was a really lovely temperature, just a couple of weeks ago, warm but not too oppresive except right in the middle of the day. It has such a soft romatic feel to it that I fell in love immediately!

  37. Wow…I loved reading your post…Such artistic and brilliant use of words…The pictures are amazing as well….They are so full of character and life…I felt like traveling across Venice through your words and pictures…
    Pankaj
    http://globalsafari.wordpress.com/

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